Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean ~ review

The Secret Lives of Dresses Synopsis from Goodreads:

Every dress has a story.

Let me tell you mine...’

Dora is in love with a man who barely notices her, has a job she doesn’t care about, and dresses entirely for comfort, not style. All a far cry from her vivid, eccentric childhood, growing up with her beloved grandmother Mimi.

However, when disaster strikes, Dora knows she has no choice but to return to her childhood home and take over running Mimi’s vintage clothing shop. And there she makes a surprising discovery – Mimi’s been writing stories to accompany every dress she sells. Romantic, heartbreaking tales about each one’s secret life before it got to her shop...

Dora starts to matchmake these lonely frocks with new owners, but will the stories help her as well? Trading her boring high street clothes for vintage glamour is one thing. What she needs to know is whether she can trade her safe old life – and love – for something better too?
A captivating and enchanting novel for every girl who knows that the right dress can change your life. By the author of the popular blog
My take on this book:
Dora has lived with her grandmother Mimi, since the age of one when her parents were killed in a freak accident. Dora is in college, but really she has no idea what she wants to do with her life, she chose her college based on the fact that they offered her a scholarship. When a planned summer job falls thru, an on campus coffee shop job falls in her lap. She is kind of crushing on her boss Gary, a grad student, but since he flirts with everyone she isn't sure how he feels about her.

When Dora gets a call from back home informing her that her grandmother Mimi has suffered a stroke, she drops everything and heads home, not even taking time to pack. Mimi runs a vintage clothing store and has always brought home dresses from her store for Dora, hoping that Dora would one day wear them. Due to the severity of Mimi's condition Dora needs to step in and take over the running of the clothing store.One of the neatest things Dora discovers is that her grandmother had been giving some of the dresses in her store personal histories and passing them on to the customer when they purchased the dress.

When Conrad, a friend of her grandmothers who is also a contractor renovating the apartments above the shop starts popping in Dora finds a friend as well as a strong shoulder to lean on. Dora finally comes to the realization that she want to run Mimi's shop permanetly but dreaded relatives swoop in and want to change everything.

I can't say enough good things about this story! I loved Dora, she starts out as a girl with no true direction in her life, but when her grandmother needs her she doesn't hesitate.While her backstory was sad, I didn't feel sorry for her because she had Mimi and Gabby. I liked how Gabby was described as some kind of relation by marriage, which sounds so southern to me. The histories of the dresses were amazing, I could actually visualize the people that were touched for a bit by the garments as the histories were revealed. I must say I was totally blown away with the ending of the story. When it is revealed who actually wrote the history of the dresses, Dora finally gets a few pieces of her history as well!

If your looking for a good story set in a small town that has romance, along with a few quirky characters, that will tug at your heartstrings but also give you a couple of laughs and ultimatly give you a satisfying ending you definatly need to check out this book!

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book click here!

my rating 5/5
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Sounds like my kind of book. Great review! I'm putting this one on my list.

  2. I'm your newest hop follower ☺
    Have a wonderful weekend


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